July 31, 2008

If You Have Wheels, Stay Far From Me

It was already a kinda crummy day for me- probably just preggy hormones and my obsessive need to nest like mad. I straightened up the garage and was pulling the car inside when my fabulously expensive and trendy stroller slid from where it was leaned up against the wall and got caught in my front tire. Like, majorly.

The big wheel from the stroller was deep up inside the right panel of my car now, above my car's tire. And neither were budging.

Normally I do not panic or get frazzled even over big deals like this. But I was shaking.

I just broke my car. And my $800 stroller that I won from Tots On The Go thanks to Mod*Mom and MomGenerations (formerly Pinks & Blues). The one with the doubles kit that I was so excited to try out when the baby got here...

I called hubby and he came home from work. Finally deflating the stroller's tire and much pulling and tugging and breaking of the rest of it got it detached from the car.

Yeah, it's not supposed to do that:

I know it's not the best pic but I just had to show it because my belly made it in the shot, too.

There's significant body damage to my poor car- we'll be getting a new fender among other things. I know it's just material stuff and that doesn't matter to me. I just feel awful that it happened at all. And that I let it stress me out so much. And that there was no chocolate and no celery in the house.

Now don't you think this story just screams the need for a "here's the kicker" line?


Well, here's the kicker. I was bringing the car into the garage to keep it safe from the hail storm we were supposed to have that never came. Would hail damage have cost as much as this, I wonder?

July 30, 2008

Curvy


b e l l y 33 w e e k s

Mom

Today is my Mom's birthday and I wanted to share this post again, originally featured as a letter to her on Mother's Day. You can send a birthday wish to her over at her blog Mimi's Toes. I know she'd love that. As would I.

Stephanie is having a girl. I will have a daughter.

I think I'm still in shock, to be honest. I never thought of myself as a Mom to a girl. It makes me think about the daughter I wasn't to my own Mom. Maybe I'm making up for it now, I don't know, because I try to show my appreciation and make up for all the angsty-ness my Mom had to go through with me for much too long.

Mom,

There are so many times I wanted to say thank you but my teenage pride got in the way. I remember so clearly the late nights of you driving me to play practice, long trips of me making you suffer through my moody Sarah McLachlan, REM, and Nirvana mix tapes. The long drives of me sitting in silence, brooding. Not knowing what was happening in my life and I only wonder what you must have felt, not knowing what was happening with this daughter of yours. This daughter that I know you wanted to dress in nice outfits and I only wanted to wear ratty thrift shop clothes. This little girl that scowled and rolled eyes until you were probably sure they'd fall out of her head.

I felt every bit of love you had for me. But I'm afraid you could never feel mine. It was there. Beneath the makeup and the closed bedroom door and the candles burning in my room. I really did want to hug you. To crawl in bed with you. And to wish away my uncertainties and life that was just so hard at thirteen, fifteen, any-teen. If only I had known then what I know now.

If only you had known then what I'm saying now.

I am so glad we are where we are. I am so relieved to be on this side of life. This side of the red hair dye and this side of my self image.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I'm going to have a daughter!

P.S. Even though I dressed like a bum, you have to admit I always had great shoes...

July 29, 2008

Mo ve ment

I awoke early this morning, suddenly, and realized I couldn't remember the last time I felt the baby move.

I'm not normally a kick counter, but I do pay attention to every nudge and turn and cherish it, so not being able to recall the last time she told me she was there got me out of bed quite quickly. I moved around a bit, drank some water, and laid down on my left side again. Almost immediately I started feeling little hiccups and flutters inside.

I've possibly never loved her more than in that moment.

Today has been productive and I've done more nesting than resting, but I feel good and it's ok. Going through all my baby things I realized we didn't have any baby pants. So, I figured we'd venture out to Target and look for some baby pants and just finish up all the school supply shopping we had left to do.

I bought a pink tee shirt with matching pink pants. Pink with little apple trees. And it wasn't a gift for someone else.

Coming home and organizing all the school supplies and looking at the precious pink baby pants over and over has me feeling ready. For real we are ok. For real she is ok. And for real she is going to be here so very soon.

I've loved every moment I've known there was new life inside my womb. I can only imagine the bliss once she is living and moving with life on the outside.

July 28, 2008

nresting

... it's a new word. My word.

I'm nesting. But it's hard work.

So, I've been running around like a crazy woman lately and am giving myself a much needed house arrest. Except for a few nights out that we have obligations to attend in the next few weeks, I am taking it easy. But I still feel the need to fluff the home a bit and get ready for baby.

It's exhausting, I tell you. Especially with these other people crowding my nest.

I twittered:
nesting. but the other people in this nest are seriously annoying me and Antique Mommy tweeted back: That's why the mama bird eventually kicks their feathery little butts out.

So true, so true, my wise friend.

My day has consisted of putting in a load of laundry, carrying one upstairs, looking at it, deciding to lie down on the bed while I look at it, then close my eyes for just a little bit. Then I wake shortly thereafter because the boys are all eating popsicles in their bedroom on the top bunk, Carter is humming quite loud and quite irritatingly the Indiana Jones theme song, or the second showing of Fire House Dog today has ended. (Or all of the above.)

So then I get up and fold that laundry basket and consider finally organizing the baby's clothes. I make it through two boxes and sort them by size. Another lie-down-on-the-bed session sounds so much more appealing than putting them all in the drawers right there in front of me. So, it's like my body doesn't even give me a choice. My head soon hits the pillow again and soon one or two children appear as close as possible to my face requesting another popsicle or another Lego man needing his hair put on or another showing of Fire House Dog. (Or all of the above.)

In the meantime I check my email and the size of my inbox quickly crashes my iPhone. For good reason. Offer up a gift card to Target and they will come.

And now, I'm totally planning to make something healthy for dinner and then really get back to those baby clothes. It's not like I mean to put it off. I love looking through each and every piece. It's divine. But so is my head hitting that pillow...


July 27, 2008

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

We went to the fair again (and yes it was an adult that was pointing at my belly button if you must know.)

I know you're probably thinking that girl just does not sit still even with four pounds of baby growing inside her, but listen- after tonight I swear I am going to take it easy from now on.

Just how could I resist a friend offering my mom and I free tickets to see Neil Diamond? Especially when she's taking her mom who happened to be born on the same day and same year as my mom? It's a birthday celebration. I'm looking forward to dinner here just as much. I already have the perfect outfit planned out. And yes- it involves sequins.

Good times never seemed so good...

July 26, 2008

Stick A Fork In Me, But Am I Done?

Front View:
The belly. Oh is it growing. I'm finding myself farther & farther away from the sink as I wash dishes. A swift leg kick/pump helps me get off the bed every morning (and about three times in the middle of the night for potty breaks, too.) I waddle. Majorly. And I think she's going to be early.

I don't know what it is but I just have this feeling that sooner than later in the next six weeks my baby will want to be born. I might be wrong. But it's just this feeling. And I am so not ready. I mean, I do have all the stuff. It's just all piled in a closet.




I want to have at least some sort of order before she gets here. And time is sifting like sand through my fingers. I love it. I love that I'll have that little girl in my arms so very soon. I just want to
have my head not in this place of wackadoodleness.
Side View:
And I guess the only other thing on my mind today is that yesterday alone I had three different people respond with an assuming ugly tone "you're done now" when they hear I am finally having our girl. I never said we were done. I never said we weren't. But FYI just do not assume that because I have three boys and am now supposed to be having a girl that we must have only been trying for a girl all along and now that we "got her" we are done.

There. I said it. That feels better.

Oh, and also last night someone actually pointed and said "look at her belly button!" I'm a show, I tell you.

Belly 32 weeks.

July 25, 2008

Hands

Their fingernails are filthy. They hug the belly a little bit too hard and talk to baby a little bit too loud. But they can not wait to meet her.

Belly 32 weeks

July 24, 2008

Grover Likes To Touch The Belly

This one might have a surprise for some of you...


On Broken Bones And Pigs

I'm pulling from the archives for my post at 5 Minutes For Parenting today. But it's one of my favorites.

Also, if you can believe it, this glamorous blogger happens to be the main writer for my county's Fair Blog. I've written a post about our little venture there last night.


July 22, 2008

Picture Day

This is my kinda Wordless Wednesday...



MJ (I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl) & Me on the streets of San Francisco. Got belly?













Shannon (Rocks In My Dryer) and Me in front
of some very fancy wallpaper.









Janice & Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) & Me getting ready for our big interview. See the trailer here!




See Arianne's fabulous photos of our Blogher 08 trip here.

Find more Wordless Wednesdays here.

July 21, 2008

Come One Come All And Rub The Belly

I had my belly rubbed a kajillion times this past weekend. By two Walgreens employees that didn't speak English. By BlogHers. Many BlogHers. Guy Kawasaki. And kinda "air-rubbed" by Rocco DiSpirito. Heck, even Grover rubbed my belly (I have it on video!)

But I am not complaining.

I think in the past I may have been a borderline what's up with you rubbing my belly without asking type of gal, but with this pregnancy, as I've told many, I love her every move. Her every kick and every jab. And I love when others touch me, touch her... celebrating and confirming she's alive. She's there. They feel her, too. She's real and not just a dream.

The excitement even strangers can feel just because I happen to have a baby in my belly. The goodness of it all- no matter who you are, we all know to appreciate the tenderness and delicacy of life in the happening.

A moment I'll never forget occured this weekend. Lying on my hotel bed with my shirt exposing my roundness, my roommates Amy & Arianne laughed with me as my belly danced and moved. They each placed their hands on my bare stomach and felt my little girl respond to their touch. I saw in their eyes and heard it in their voices as they talked to her, the specialness of just that very instance.

She kicks me even now as I type and I'm almost high from knowing my little girl is in there, okay, and getting ready to meet me face to face so very soon.

Feel free to touch... there is so much power. There is so much life.

Golden

But it's so good to be home.

Belly, 31 weeks


July 20, 2008

Goodbye, San Francisco

It's time to pack and head for home. This morning we plan to do some sightseeing and shopping before making our way back to Chicago. This trip has been more amazing than I could have imagined.

I've been a bad blogger and haven't taken any pictures. But I have plenty of great friends here with better cameras, so this week I'll have to post some good ones. I'm sure there are many. Last night at dinner alone is sure to have some good pics including the sharing of a very large and very yummy hot fudge sundae. I went to a 50's diner with Mary, Arianne, Shannon, Melanie, Janice & Susan, Stephanie, Christine, Nicole, & Heather.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity and grateful for the sweetness of my hubby the entire time I've been gone- sending me emails like this:

Daddy:
"OK Boys, I'm going to work out now.
Don't bother Daddy or talk to me about
anything unless you're bleeding, barfing
or someone is choking. Leave me alone
until 3:40. Understand?"

Noah: "Yes"
Carter: "YES!"
Gray: "yes"

later... during the workout:

Noah: "Daddy, can we go outside"
Daddy: "Are you bleeding?"
Noah: "No"
Daddy: "Are you barfing?"
Noah: "No"
Daddy: "Is someone choking?"
Noah: "No"
Daddy: "Then ask me when it's 3:40"

then later...

Noah: "Daddy, Gray hit me with a transformer!"
Daddy/Noah question answer sequence repeated.

then later...

Noah: "Can we stop up the sink?"
Daddy/Noah question answer sequence repeated.

then later...

Carter: "Why can't we stop up the sink?"
Daddy/Carter question answer sequence repeated.

then later...

Noah: "Daddy?"
Daddy/Noah question answer sequence repeated.

Well, I made it to 3:40 with only a few instances.
Man, these kids really need to work on self control.

We're having fun though.

Love you!

and...

I tried to do my yoga today with the boys. The first two got kicked out while
the third left out of boredom.
Carter's last straw was when he decided to sit
down, watch the screen
compared to me and point out all the flaws in my form.
"Your knee isn't
bent enough Daddy!"

Glad you're getting rested and having fun. That's what times like this

is for.

Love you very much.

Oh, and if you are following me on Twitter, I changed my username because it was too long and annoying. My new Twitter address is
here.

July 19, 2008

The San Francisco Treat

Ok. How crazy is it that I go away to a blogging conference and don't even have a chance to blog?

It's been a blast here, I tell you. So incredibly amazing and fun and each new thing we get to do, we say "this is our favorite so far!"


Our flight was tight and cramped and I could not wait to get off. But from the moment we were in San Francisco, everything was going our way.

Arianne
& I checked into our hotel at the Westin St. Francis and collapsed on the super soft beds. But not before I immediately called room service and ordered a massive amount of celery. They had to place my order as a fresh salad with extra extra celery and look what came... it was soooo worth the massive amount it cost. And I ate the salad, too. It was good.

We had on-camera interviews with Janice & Susan from 5 Minutes For Mom, so we headed downstairs to get our hair & makeup done. The interviews went great and soon we were off to get ready for the Alltop Kirtsy party hosted by my friend Gabrielle (Design Mom) and Guy Kawasaki. It was in Atherton at Guy's amazing house. This party was the place to be. If only I could list everyone here, but I just can't this very moment! Pictured: Arianne, Me, Guy, & Amy. You can see all of Guy's photos from the party here. And all of Amy's photos from the weekend here.

We got back late from the party and then decided to head out to see what was going on in the city. This lead us to trying to find some place to eat at 12 am. Amy, Arianne, MJ, and I ended up at a Thai restaurant and it was the best pad Thai ever... and we were half asleep and loopy I tell you. We took crazy hilarious photos with our iPhones and laughed probably too much. It was the best. We got back to our hotel way super late and crashed. I slept straight through the night- it was awesome.

Yesterday morning was the official start of BlogHer and soon the place was swarming with women bloggers. So many people to meet and hug and chat. It's been great to finally see Shannon from Rocks In My Dryer in person, as well as Melanie from Don't Try This At Home and Mary from Owlhaven, who was the first person to get me to cry. Love her. I think we all might be doing dinner or a pajama party tonight, right girls?

The exhibit halls full of sponsors is incredible and my BlogHer sponsors from Adoptic were so gracious and wonderful to meet in person. Again- if you want an invite to feature your blog on Adoptic- let me know and I'll send one your way!

Yesterday for lunch Arianne & I got to dine with Rocco DiSpirito as he demonstrated some great Bertoli sauces and pasta cooking. We sat at a fun table which included Rockin Mama- adorable!

Of course I am going to try to mention everyone else I've met, too, but I'm also using Amy's computer right now and don't want to be a blog hog...

Yesterday afternoon we had the special opportunity as part of the Silicon Valley Moms group to have makeovers at Saks Fifth Avenue with professional headshots taken by a photographer. It was too fun (my makeup was Armani) and I was so very tempted to buy a $345 dress.

Then we met up with our favorite gals from BSM Media and Mom Select- Natalie & Amy- and hopped on the trolley down to Fisherman's Wharf. It was so fun and we had the best dinner at Alioto's. The food, conversation, & laughter was just icing on the cake to being able to hang with such terrific people. How blessed I am to have these friends that you don't even have to know in real life to already have a relationship. But being able to hug and hang out in person is definitely an amazing bonus.

All five of us crammed into a cab and got back to the hotel early (for us) around 11. I went straight to bed and the rest of the girls went who knows where as they were still up for some night life.

And that brings me here. Saturday morning. Another day of BlogHer and meeting more of my favorite bloggers. I have a massage later in the Barefoot & Pregnant suite and think there's some shopping and dinner with friends in my future. I could really get used to this...

July 18, 2008

The Dress I Did Not Buy


At Saks Fifth Avenue tonight... a divine Cynthia Rowley dress that was fun while it lasted...



Belly, 31 weeks

July 17, 2008

I Love You More Than This Blog


I've got a post up at 5 Minutes For Parenting today- I Love You More Than My Sunglasses.

It's not pretty, but it's real.

I also have a post up at Chicago Moms Blog that is pretty and real. You can see another one of my favorite pictures from my photo shoot there.

I'm enjoying my time away, but there will be no leaving my heart in San Francisco. I left it at home with my four boys and I can't wait to have them all in my arms again.


I Swallered A Watermelon

I'm on my way to San Francisco, people! The answer to THE question: I've packed only 5 pairs of shoes not including the ones I'm wearing now. And I have a feeling there will be more shoes in my suitcase on the way home. I hear there's some incredible shopping where I'll be. Just sayin'.

I hope United Airlines lets me get on the plane. I am having a hard time convincing regular people on the street that I am not due, like, yesterday. But, my due date is indeed September 18 and according to the "rules" I should have no problem flying. Maybe I can just hold my carry on in front of me and no one will notice?

I am so excited for this getaway. I'll be rooming with Arianne & Amy and meeting all sorts of crazy women bloggers. Did you know just tonight I have four different parties to attend? My blogger collection will surely multiply in a massive amount within the next couple days.

You can follow me on Twitter to hear about all the goings on while I'm away. And hopefully this weekend I'll have a good San Franciscan belly shot (31 weeks!) to show you.

Until then, I'm headed for the Frisco bay...

July 16, 2008

Au Naturel

Yesterday was the day. I broke up with my OB. And it went well. In the end, we agreed to disagree. I'm very happy with that.

I understand that homebirth is not for everyone. But I know that it is for me, right now.

My all natural birth with Gray was less painful and by far more pleasant than my other births. And if it makes you feel any better, I am very low risk and we live 1.4 miles from the hospital.

It seems so silly now to say just what made me finally change my mind. But a friend told me about visiting another friend that just had a baby in the hospital recently and she said they glued a bow in the baby's hair. I thought, oh great, something else I'll have to add to my birthplan. No bow glue.

And when hubby and I were discussing that birth plan- mainly a long list of what we don't want to happen in labor and after the baby is born, we found ourselves saying, why are we having this baby in the hospital?

My original desire was to have a homebirth, but convenience and finances and a little bit of laziness on my part had me deciding on a hospital birth instead. The closer I've gotten to this little girl making her debut, the more I've felt that tug on my heart that I need to do what I really want and think is right for us.

One of my fondest memories of the day I had my first child, I was laboring on our bed upstairs while Jeff prayed beside me. It was incredible pain. And then it was the first time I was starting to understand how to listen to my body and not fight against it. It was there my water broke. There that my new life as a mother officially was beginning.

I envision giving birth to this baby girl, probably in that same bedroom, coming full circle from that day 7 and a half years ago. It just feels so right, and makes so much sense. A new life beginning in the place we do all of our loving and laughing and living.

In my mind, I am now at peace. To me, how she gets here and where she comes out isn't what really matters. The moment we can begin our new life with our first daughter, our sons' first sister, and possibly the completeness of our family... and all the moments to come after that are what it's really all about.


Belly, 30 weeks
Photo by Marianne McNamara, Scandica Fine Art Photography

July 15, 2008

Hello From The Depths Of My Suitcase

That is where you'll find me for the next couple days as I am packing away for my big trip to Cali. It's finally here! This calls for creative wardrobe planning, considering I'll need an outfit and shoes for each day and each evening. And I've been told to pack, like, winter coats and such due to the dramatic San Francisco fog and chill, so I'll need all sorts of layers.

Of course, since there seems to be more than one of me lately and apparently plenty of me to go around, I can also be found at Traveling With Baby's Tuesday Travels dishing about tripping it to Chicago with the fam, and here at Blogging Basics 101 gabbing away about blogging and relationships and the joys of PR.

By the way, can I please say thank you again to Adoptic (I have some extra invites if you'd like to join Adoptic- let me know!), Newbaby.com, HP, & Google for sending me to Blogher!

Now back to the joys of packing- see you on the other side of my carry-on...



July 14, 2008

I'll Tell You How I Do It

You're either asking it or thinking it, so I'm just going to tell you the secret to how I seem to do the many things I do. It's two very important words...

My Husband.

Of course, I do not mean to imply that I put my husband above God because really and truly God is the reason for everything in my life. However... I know that my hubby is a rare commodity, if you will. A huge gift from Above. He is an incredible father and husband, and together we are a team. He supports me even when I have the occasional (or often) crazy idea (like maybe switching to homebirth at 30 weeks) and I do the same for him.

Just the other night it was his idea to watch The Business of Being Born. He has only positive and exciting things to say about the upcoming homebirth of our baby girl. This means sooooo much to me. And is quite attractive, I must say. : )

Yesterday after my photo shoot I came home and he insisted I go to bed. He was taking the kids to church and then also made the genius decision to let me have the house all to myself as long as possible, so he took them to lunch (to a restaurant and not fast food), to get his hair cut, and then to the grocery store!

And you want to know the best part? He never once complained about it. If anything, he actually enjoyed it. He only wanted to be sure that I was rested and had a peaceful time alone.

This week he'll be taking vacation time so that I can gallivant off to San Francisco for Blogher. And he's so thrilled for me to have such an opportunity.

If it weren't for him, I would not be able to commit to so many projects and events. I could probably work myself into the wee hours without ever having a break, true, but that is not a way to live. Instead, my superhero of a husband enables me to have down time and girl time and times of refreshing and renewing that really do make all the difference.

And some of you may be thinking that, well, they're his kids, too, and he should do all these things. He knows that. But the fact that he does it so well and so effortlessly without me ever having to ask, and on top of already working so hard at his own career... it's something I am not ashamed to be so thankful for. And I can't often say the same about myself.

We value each other in a way that I wish I knew how to better explain. We understand and appreciate that we both are far from perfect.

But most importantly, we know without a doubt that we are perfect for each other.


July 13, 2008

Picture People

Crooked Eyebrow has put like a gazillion photos from last night on her flickr here- they are too fun.


Here are a few more of my favorites...


Sarah & I are due just days apart.














Nina came all the way from Florida to see us- how special! She was actually visiting friend Meghan
, but still... so nice!









Anytime Beth & Arianne are around, there is fun to be had...

I Never Said I Was Camera Shy

Last night was the big NWI bloggy dinner with some crazy women. And pretty much all we did the entire time was take photos. Well, more like, pose for photos while Crooked Eyebrow snapped away. I had a great time and although the food looked fabulous, I munched on celery and iced tea. Wish I had more right this very moment actually.

Group shot of everyone...

(l-r) back: Nina, Meghan, Lisa, Jackee, Rhonda, Amy, Beth, Sarah, Arianne, Crooked Eyebrow

front: Sarah, Sheryl & Aisling, Me, Jaymi & Popeye



I love this photo of my Mom & me.






Two of hearts (Beth & Arianne play with my belly.)








Then this morning I had a preggy photo session with Marianne McNamara of Scandica: Fine Art Photography (a prize I won a while back thanks to Katja at Skimbaco!) at the
beautiful Northerly Island in Chicago... at sunrise. It was actually such a peaceful drive up there and I took it all in. Such a good feeling to get out of your box (unless you normally are out driving around at 4:30 in the morning) and breathe in life and the amazing surroundings right outside our door. To take my favorite line from Wall-E, I don't want to survive, I want to live. Yes. Me, too.

I know that Crooked Eyebrow will be downloading the hundreds of photos she took last night and I'll be posting my faves throughout the day. And as soon as I have any shots from my gorgeous photography session this morning, I'll get those up, too!


July 11, 2008

All You Need Is Love Belly




















30 weeks

No Solicitors

The other day a girl came to the door selling magazines to support some cause that, to be honest, I didn't listen to or care about. I didn't want or need any magazines and haven't the extra twenty or thirty dollars anyway. I'm certain I wasn't the first to shoo her away in the neighborhood. She turned abruptly and then called back as she walked away, "I'm just trying to make money now so I can do what you do and just stay home with the kids all day."

I felt like saying a few things that came to mind at that moment, but she was already down the sidewalk and off to the next house across the street. So I just stood there in my flowery apron, holding a tray of freshly baked cookies, with the kids playing quietly at my feet and smiled.

Or rather I stood there with my hair half up in a pony tail, extreme fatigue on my face from an already long day of writing deadlines and phone calls, on top of taking care of the kids. There was no Amy Butler apron or gooey chocolate chip cookies, but there was me in a dirty t-shirt and skirt I had maybe worn to bed the night before. And the kids screamed about in chaos behind me. The only thing quiet at my feet were crumbs and Legos. And possibly my sanity down there somewhere.

I had never felt so invisible as a work at home Mom than at that moment. And many feelings I didn't realize I had been holding in began to break loose. I get the vibes all too often from some friends and family that they do not understand I am not just a stay at home Mom. My writing and blogging is work. It does pay some bills. Not all the bills, but it definitely pays some. Being on my computer or iPhone so often may look like fun and games and an annoying little hobby to others, but I'm really working and establishing myself- my business.

Yesterday, for the first time that I can ever remember, I sat here at my computer and looked at what I've been working very hard on lately and realized something that made me cry. A good cry.

I am proud of myself. And you know what? I have every reason to be. If people that come to the door or friends or whatever don't see it, at least I do.

And, um, even if I wasn't a writer and didn't get paychecks in the mail, managing a household and one or more children without pay is plenty of an under appreciated business in itself. Oh if only just staying at home with the kids all day was all we did. Everyone has their thing. Mine happens to be writing. There is something that you do that you can be proud of, and should be.

So, say, if your thing is making gooey chocolate chip cookies, I'd love to be proud of you for that. Go right ahead and send them my way, 'kay?


This post has been submitted to Scribbit's July Write Away Contest "Wonder Woman."


July 10, 2008

5 Minutes Is All I Have

I am very excited to reveal to you one of the latest projects I've been blessed to be a part of. I've joined the 5 Minutes For Mom team and am the Managing Editor of the brand spanking new 5 Minutes For Parenting site.


What an amazing opportunity it has been to personally speak with and work alongside the writers I've recruited to be a part of our team. Please take a look- you'll be impressed.

Feel free to link up
, subscribe to our feed, add us to your bloglines, comment and say hello- all those good things.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to go crash somewhere. My 5 Minutes was up, like, yesterday.


July 9, 2008

I'm Not There

Ok, I am not sure if you've noticed, but although it seems I've been here- which I have, in a way, so stick with me- I have not been here like I usually am. My feet haven't touched the ground for weeks now and won't for a couple more... I don't know if I've ever been so busy in my entire life. And oh, almost 30 weeks pregnant, too. I have been working very hard on something very exciting that launches tomorrow, and can't wait to share it with you. This weekend is the big NWI bloggy meet up as well as a professional preggy photo shoot in Chicago that I won from Katja ages ago. And um, Blogher is next week. People, I don't yet know what I'm going to wear. AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

And hello- how awesome are you? Ali shared the love with me and is it cheesy to want to just share this with all of you? I mean, I am not sure if I've ever felt such encouragement and support from comments on my blog like I have this week alone. I wrote three sentences in my post yesterday and look at all the love that poured in! I can't thank you enough. I feel so much stronger and able with you all lifting me up. Does that sound weird? Because it's how I really feel. It is so fulfilling to open up and reveal my life with all of you and know you really get me and actually care. You are amazing.

So, I feel like I've been soaking up all the love while I've not even really been here. It's your time to shine. It's time to lift yourself up. I already love you. What do you love about yourself? Be honest. Be vain. Be real. I want to know!

July 8, 2008

We Can Still Be Friends?

I'm feeling so much more at peace about it today. Much better. But it's still something I have to do...


July 7, 2008

Judy Tired

I was emailing with a friend the other day and had mentioned how I was just tired but the auto correct on my iPhone switched it to judy tired. She asked me about it and I had the biggest laugh out loud, by myself... not sure if it was my extreme exhaustion making me super loopy or what. But yeah, I guess that sounds about right. I'm judy tired.

I found myself yesterday being a bit overwhelmed by how many children I have. Maybe it was the talking-whining-tattling-yelling all at once. Or the constantly being climbed on and tugged at and, like, being needed and stuff. I just wanted to eat my salad in peace at lunch but instead I watched it be devoured by a little vulture that decided he'd rather have what I was having. And that I should feed it to him. With my fork.

I hate when I can't stand the things coming out of my mouth- who is this person?- how I sound, correcting and disciplining and ruiner of all fun. I finally had a moment where I took some cleansing breaths and soon was able to just observe Gray running up and down the yard, filling up a water can in the little pool and giggling as he'd take it to some other part of the yard to pour it out. Over and over. His eyes flashed and his smile grew and I pushed past the guilt of my earlier monster momness. He deserves so much more than my rotten attitude. And I said thankful prayers for this child, that I was witness to such a moment. Of finding joy in pretty much nothing. He's only two but he has taught me so much. I still have so much to learn.

July 6, 2008

I'm Breathing


I am standing on the edge again, unsure of really anything lately,
of big and small things, in a good way. Like life is speeding by and I don't know when to jump in. Or if I even should.

The sense that I could fly whichever way the wind carries me and I'd be ok with it. Or maybe I'm completely content to stay still and watch it all go by. Is this how it truly feels to let go and let God? It's adventurous. A bit unsettling. And I feel so alive.

July 5, 2008

She Should Be

I've written a post at I Should Be Folding Laundry this weekend, giving a little peek inside as a friend to a friend who has lost her babies.


Notes On A Good Day


We love a parade.










Big brother Noah had enough fun (and candy) for us all.







The best seat in the house.












The best friends
(although I think we're really sisters).








It was a good day.

July 3, 2008

I Declare

Noah had his first sleepover at our house the other night. His little friend, just 6 years old, will celebrate the 4th today while his Mom serves in Iraq. She serves to protect my freedom while I complain about having to sweep the floor for the third time today. While I count the minutes until bedtime for the kids. While I dream of having a moment of peace so that I can breathe think function blog uninterrupted.

She's in physical combat for me, and I've made it my own declaration to go into prayer battle for her. While her son slept sweetly on the top bunk in my boys' room, I just cried and prayed.

I pray for his Mom's safety. For her heart. For his heart. That he knows God's love and that he doesn't suffer from any emotional harm while his mom is away. I pray that everyone serving our country can come home now. This lump in my throat hasn't gone away all week.

My, how I've seen life in a new perspective.


Originally published July 4, 2007.

Morning Dew Belly


29 weeks

July 2, 2008

Validation

One time I forgot to put shoes on Gray and realized it when we got to the kids' hair place. I said I forgot baby's shoes! What kind of mother am I? and Noah said You're a GOOD mother.

Just yesterday at the park Carter stopped playing and came up to me to say Mommy, I love you. It was in front of my friend, too, and almost made me teary.

Gray's independence at two years old can be a bit unnerving yet also glorious. But when he comes to grab my hand and ask for my help doing something that's just too big for his own confidence, it does feel good to be needed and know that I make him feel safe.

This baby girl inside me kicks and pushes around more than my other pregnancies combined. And I love it. I wonder what she's thinking in there. And I hope someday she knows how much I've been blessed to carry her, and how much it has changed me.

I was tagged for this meme about my children by Haley and took it upon myself to write just one thing about each of my children. You can play along as you wish.


July 1, 2008

How They Came Out

We're talking baby stories over at the Chicago Moms Blog today. You can read mine here.





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